"Innie" as in "Introvert". I've known that for years, but am reminded of the fact over and over. Last weekend I went for a retreat for my Educators Program alumni. It was really great to meet old friends and teachers. It was also really draining to mingle with so many strangers and semi-strangers. I haven't had the time to relax, chill out by myself, think and do nothing. Every meal with people, enforced conversations, chatting, ice-breakers and sharing. The whole week was really difficult not being able to refresh and recharge my batteries. Facing parent-teacher conference and Open House was triple whammy. Finally this weekend I can indulge in long sleep (almost 11h!), reading, lazy coffee drinking, thinking... Just my way to deal with the overstimulating outside.
I have found an amazing book by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D, The Introvert Advantage. How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. I am half in, and I already learned a lot about myself. A lot of my behaviors and reactions I didn't even connect with being an introvert, I thought they existed independently. I am also shy and have anxiety issues, which seems to be more common among us, the Innies.
It is difficult not to feel guilty for refusing to go somewhere. I feel bad when someone invites me for a Shabbat meal and I would prefer to just stay home and read a book. Extroverts don't understand us, and we often don't understand ourselves, forcing unnatural behavior in order to "fit".
I embrace my "Innie" self and understand much more why I need my lone safe space to recharge and face the world. This is why I was sure from the very beginning that I was not looking for roommates anymore, Years of that was enough. Now my apartment, where I can relax, put on sweats and take off my bra, is my haven and safety cocoon. I put a lot of energy to make it beautiful, cozy and "mine". I love my privacy and understand that it doesn't mean I am cold or unfriendly.
It takes time to get to know oneself, and especially to not feel guilty about who we are.